Page:Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads, Kipling, 1899.djvu/199

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15
THE LAST SUTTEE

We bore the King to his fathers' place,
Where the tombs of the Sun-born stand:
Where the grey apes swing, and the peacocks preen
On fretted pillar and jewelled screen,
And the wild boar couch in the house of the Queen
On the drift of the desert sand.


The herald read his titles forth,
We set the logs aglow:
"Friend of the English, free from fear,
"Baron of Luni to Jeysulmeer,
"Lord of the Desert of Bikaneer,
"King of the Jungle,—go!"


All night the red flame stabbed the sky
With wavering wind-tossed spears:
And out of a shattered temple crept
A woman who veiled her head and wept,
And called on the King—but the great King slept,
And turned not for her tears.


Small thought had he to mark the strife—

Cold fear with hot desire—